U.S.-based marine services company TDI-Brooks announced it was awarded geophysical, geotechnical and benthic sampling survey campaigns to study seabed conditions within the project lease area and potential export cable corridors for offshore wind farms off the U.S. East Coast.
TDI-Brooks said it expects to begin the program in April and will continue through summer 2023 with two to three vessels in operations. The data collected will help determine safe and responsible project design and engineering along with identifying potential geohazards and benthic habitats.
The geotechnical component along cable routes and within lease blocks consist of deploying a variety of tools including their Feritech FT550 electric and TDI-Brooks designed pneumatic vibrocorer (pVC) systems along with their Datem Neptune 5,000 (N5K) and 3,000 (N3K) cone penetrometer test rigs (CPT). Upon completion of the geotechnical vibracoring, all samples are sent to the TDI-Brooks’ ISO-certified geotechnical and environmental laboratories in College Station, Texas for testing. The geophysical projects consisted of sidescan sonar, TVG magnetometer, multibeam, USBL, parametric subbottom profiler and 2D ultra high-resolution (UHR) with single and multi-channel seismic systems to provide detailed seabed and shallow sub-surface data. The data generate supports the inter-array cables, route planning for project design via pre-lay route surveys and survey works during cable lay, including as-built surveys for cable detection (depth of burial). Geophysical and hydrographic surveys ascertain seabed bathymetry, morphology, classification, marine habitats and sub-seabed layers.
With each offshore wind project carried out, the operator contracts representation from the local fishery organization to accompany the survey. This representative is onboard during the duration of the survey to ensure communication and coordination takes place with the local fishermen. The fishery representation ensures the survey vessel remains clear from all fishing gear and fishing areas. In addition to a fishery presentative, a Protected Species Observer (PSO) is deployed to support industry and academic marine activities by conducting monitoring onboard the vessel to minimize any potential impacts on species encountered.
The offshore wind project is the sixth awarded to TDI-Brooks in the past 2+ years, the company said. From the start of early Spring 2021, it has been performing marine site investigations for several of the offshore wind operators on the U.S. East Coast. Both TDI-Brooks' Brooks McCall and Miss Emma McCall are currently working on the U.S. East Coast performing G&G surveys for offshore wind programs.